Alopecia areata

From Dog
Generalized alopecia areata in a dog due to hypothyroidism[1]

Alopecia areata is a common immune-mediated skin disorder of dogs characterized by focal and multifocal patches of noninflammatory alopecia.

A predisposition has been reported in the Dachshund[2] and English Setter[3].

The etiology is unknown but exclusion of other causes is important, including external parasites (e.g. demodicosis), ringworm, hypothyroidism, hyperadrenocorticism and drug reactions.

The disease results in immunopathology of anagen hair follicles.

Clinical signs including alopecia, skin hyperpigmentation and leucotrichia usually developing on the face, skull, ears and legs, which progresses to involve the neck and trunk. underlying skin appears normal and pruritus is not a feature of this condition[4].

A differential diagnosis would include folliculitis.

Histological examination of skin biopsy specimens revealed peri- and intrabulbar mononuclear cell infiltrates affecting almost exclusively anagen

Therapeutic management of this disease in the canine is unclear, although systemic or intralesional glucocorticoids or cyclosporine[5] may be helpful with nonresolving or progressive cases.

Spontaneous remission of alopecia occurs in about 60% of dogs and regrowing hair shafts were often non-pigmented.


  1. VGRD
  2. Guernsey GE (1985) Alopecia areata in a dog. Can Vet J 26(12):403
  3. Alhaidari Z (2003) Alopecia areata in a mixed breed 9-year-old English setter. Ann Dermatol Venereol 130(4):416
  4. Tobin DJ et al (2003) A natural canine homologue of alopecia areata in humans. Br J Dermatol 149(5):938-950
  5. Noli C & Toma S (2006) Three cases of immune-mediated adnexal skin disease treated with cyclosporin. Vet Dermatol 17(1):85-92